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Volume 61, Number 34    May 19, 2014         

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Everyday science
A May 9 column about citizen science in The Huffington Post mentioned Professor of Biology Gretchen LeBuhn's Great Sunflower Project. "One woman wrote to me that even though she's in a wheelchair with restricted movement, she can count bees, and it makes her happy to contribute," LeBuhn said.

Tree ring enlightenment
The website Terra Daily reported on May 12 about research by Assistant Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences Alexander Stine that suggests changes in tree-ring density in the Arctic may be evidence of changes in light intensity during the trees' growth, shedding new light on the so-called divergence problem. The divergence problem does not affect understanding of modern climate change "because we have thermometers and those thermometers tell us it's warming. But it's a problem because if we want to use these tree rings as a proxy for temperatures of the past, we need to make sure that we understand what's happening now," Stine said. "We could learn more about past variations in light intensity at the Earth's surface, and we may be able to deepen our understanding of both trees and climate."

Ahead of the code
The May 12 San Francisco Examiner included a feature about SF State students creating award-winning mobile apps through a partnership between the University's Department of Information Systems and the SAP America University Alliance Program. "Having exposure and experience to the most widely used ERP software enhances the marketability of students. When they interview for jobs or scholarships, if the company is using SAP, they don't have to train this person from ground zero," said Professor of Information Systems Lutfus Sayeed. "Students are able to be innovative and get recognized," Associate Professor of Information Systems Leigh Jin added.

Unions on approach
Professor of Labor and Employment Studies John Logan commented for a May 11 Wall Street Journal article about unionization efforts among airport workers. "They're beginning to bear fruit now in terms of seeing wage increases," Logan said of unionization efforts at New York airports. "The intention is to spread this into a national campaign and hope it develops momentum."

No-win situation
Professor of Political Science Robert C. Smith commented on the role of race in Republican opposition to President Barack Obama for a May 13 Wisconsin Public Radio report. "If the first black president would have been a conservative, then these conservatives would not express this racial animus. There's a perception that Obama's major achievement is a transfer from middle-income white people to low-income minorities," Smith said. "Obama's race and his Ivy League background and the sense of his elitism, all of those come together to make his case the worst we've seen."


For more media coverage of faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs, see SF State in the News.


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